Date of Award
Master of Science
Homer D. Swingle
Lowell G. Bailey
The sweet potato Is the most important vegetable crop in the South and in the State of Tennessee. Because of its adaptability to many processing requirements, its use as a fresh product, its value as a feed and for industrial purposes, the sweet potato has acquired local and national prominence.
While there have been both fresh and processed outlets for vegetables, since commercial production became important in the United States, the importance of the processing market is rapidly increasing.
There should be a sweet potato product available to the consumer at all periods of the year. Sweet potatoes are available as a fresh product only during a short period of the year due to poor storage facilities, or poor quality potatoes resulting from storage diseases and rodents. It is important, therefore, that the supply be extended through-out the entire year. This may be accomplished with a product that has been processed in a form as palatable as the fresh product. The evaluation of quality is based on appearance, texture, flavor, odor, and nutritive values.
The purpose of this experiment was to develop a method for the preservation of the sweet potato which will yield a product attractive in appearance, acceptable in quality, that may be prepared for the table in a variety of ways, and sufficiently resistant to atmospheric conditions to permit storage and distribution.
Preliminary experiments with several fruits and vegetables have shown that moderate dehydration, removal of about two-thirds of the water content, followed by freezing storage, resulted in excellent products in most cases. It would appear that there would be some possibilities with sweet potatoes.
As the name implies, dehydrofreezing is a new method of food preservation which combines certain features of two well known processing methods. The process like the name, links dehydration with freezing preservation and is designed to retain the advantages of each of these established procedures while eliminating insofar as possible the disadvantages of each.
The advantages of dehydrofreezing are mainly the economic and engineering advantages which are attributed to the new dehydrofreeze process. Economies are very substantial in terms of warehouses and refrigerated transport space.
The lines of investigation included a comparison of dehydration, dehydrofreezing and freezing following various pre-treatments.
Weems, Floyd Arthur, "A study of the methods of freezing sweet potatoes as compared to dehydrating. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 1951.